GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Despite the first collegiate home run from freshman James Ramsay and three hits from junior Todd Brazeal, the University of South Florida baseball team fell at No. 1 Florida, 7-2, Friday evening at Florida’s McKethan Field in Gainesville.
Florida struck first, pushing three runs across on five hits off Bulls starter Randy Fontanez in the third inning.
Fontanez started strong retiring seven of the first eight batters he faced but with one out in the third, Florida strung together three straight singles to load the bases.
A single, a sac fly and a two-out double would give the Gators a 3-0 lead.
The Gators chased Fontanez after 4.2 innings following a two-run home run by Preston Tucker and a ground rule double by Brian Johnson.
Fontanez, who had gone at least 5.0 innings in each of his prior 34 starts, yielded six runs, all earned, scattering nine hits, walking one and striking out three before being relieved by senior Doug Wagner. The Gators went on to tack on two more runs in the inning to extend their lead to 7-0.
Offensively, the Bulls failed to get on track against Florida starter Brian Johnson, tallying just two hits over the first six innings.
Johnson faced the minimum of 18 batters thanks two a pair of inning ending double plays following singles by Todd Brazeal and Chad Taylor in the second and third innings.
In the ninth inning, the Bulls got on the board thanks to Ramsay's home run. With one out, Ramsay hit a high fly ball down the right field line that easily cleared the 326 foul poll.
Senior third baseman Jonathan Koscso followed Ramsay with an infield single and then scored on a double into left center by Brazeal. The double was the third hit of the night for the Bulls' first baseman.
The Bulls will look to rebound tomorrow afternoon when senior lefthander Andrew Barbosa toes the rubber for the Bulls. First Pitch is slated for 4 p.m. Barbsosa will square off against sophomore righty Hudson Randall.
Tonight’s game was played in 2:10… Tonight’s attendance was 5,157… Freshman James Ramsay made his first career start leading off and playing right field… In the ninth inning, Ramsay put the Bulls on the board with his first career home run… The three-hit game for Brazeal is the ninth of his career… USF is now 2-3 in season openers under Lelo Prado… Randy Fontanez's streak of 34 consecutive starts in which he went 5.0 innings or more was snapped... With three strikeouts, Fontanez now has 223 for his career. He is three shy of breaking into the Bulls top 10 list for career strikeouts.